38, 39 … and lucky No. 35?

In case you were wondering, yes, we’re still looking for a house.

We resumed the hunt once more last Sunday, after going to church and indulging in the brunch buffet at the student union.

On the outside, House No. 38 had immense charm. An older home with fresh red paint and white trim. A large front porch. A two-car garage and a second one-car garage that was set up as a spacious workshop. And it sat on two lots, leaving Phoebe plenty of extra room to run and play.

Then we stepped inside. The blue carpet throughout the home was stained and filthy, and we found no signs of hardwood flooring beneath. Every wall in the house was covered with dated, floral print wallpaper -- in various shades of blue, of course. The kitchen was spacious, but it was connected to the formal dining room by a narrow hallway and maze of cabinets. Upstairs, the bedrooms were tiny.

Outside, although the property consisted of two lots, the house sat awkwardly on a corner lot, leaving enough room for a small back yard adjacent to a street that ran west of the south-facing home, and the wide open lot to the east. It would have been far more ideal if the open lot connected to the back side of the home, creating a huge back yard. And that two-car garage -- we could see daylight through the settling concrete blocks.

Bring on House No. 39. Another nearly century-old home. It sat on a corner in a neighborhood near campus that is loaded with beautiful historic homes. The home is set far from the road, creating a long sidewalk leading to the front step. The home’s tall, thin makeup and gray stucco exterior also conjured up thoughts of some haunted house straight out of a Scooby-Doo episode. The fact that we were toured it in the darkness of night might have had a lot to do with that.

Inside, many of the home’s features were breath-taking. Gorgeous hardwood floors. Large rooms with 9-foot ceilings. Built-in shelves and a fireplace in the living room. Ornate, original windows. And sun rooms on the first and second floors that would were so inviting, I think Kates and I both had visions sprouting from our heads of lying in chairs and reading books on sunny Sunday afternoons.

In a lot of ways, the interior of the home reminded me of something from the movies. Like those Manhattan apartment interiors you see in so many romantic comedies. I’m thinking of “You’ve Got Mail,” or “One Fine Day.” As we got into our car afterward, I said the home, arguably, was my favorite of all the older homes we’ve toured.

But. Like all of the older homes we’ve toured, it needed its share of repairs and upgrades. Most notably, in this case, the upstairs walls were showing severe cracks. The one-car garage, located at the basement level, was a let down. And Kates and I shuttered to think what it might cost to heat and cool the monstrosity.

All of that brings us back to House No. 35. The house that has been head and shoulders above nearly everything we've seen so far. The house that is so close to everything we've been looking for. The house that is so complete, it makes us feel ashamed that we grieved so heavily over our offers that didn't pan out last spring.

Our intelligence tells us House No. 35 is priced too high, as we suspected, and that hasn't done much to attract potential buyers -- which is good news for us. Our people and their people have stayed in regular contact and negotiations are continuing. The only thing we can do now is be patient and hope everything works in our favor ...

Unless a more perfect home presents itself. Which could still happen.

No comments: